Monday, April 21, 2014
Excited to see we are only five weeks from The Source's release date (June 3rd)! If you liked The Line, The Source will knock your socks off. (And if you didn't like The Line, well, then chances are you aren't reading this anyway.)
The Mercy we meet at the beginning of The Source is a tad different from the young woman she was in the first pages of The Line. Betrayal has forced her to mature and look at herself and those she loves in a very different way. The boy troubles that at one point seemed so important to her, she now sees as trivial. She believes the worst surprises are behind her, and is determined to work on setting things right and moving on. In her mind, step one of setting things right is to find her missing sister, even though the line's other anchors have forbidden her to search.
Mercy's single-minded determination to rescue Maisie leads Mercy into an alliance with Mother Jilo Wills, and frankly, the relationship that forms between these two women is my favorite part of the entire Witching Savannah series. The wonderful thing about their unlikely friendship is that each of them makes the other a better person.
We have only caught a glimpse so far of the true Jilo. We learned in The Line that the facade of the crotchety uneducated conjure woman is a fiction Jilo herself created. Well, at least the uneducated part. The crotchety part is certainly real.
Jilo was born into a world not ready for her. She graduated with a degree in chemistry in an age when African-Americans still had to drink from separate water fountains. Her dream had been to become a medical doctor, not a "root doctor," but our society at the time would have none of that.
Jilo Wills combined her education in chemistry with the knowledge of Hoodoo magic she got from her grandmother to turn herself into a powerful conjurer. (I have this wonderful back story in mind that one day might be written. It features a young, modern, scientifically-minded Jilo fighting with her Hoodoo practicing grandmother, only to return later to study at her feet.)
The bitterly disappointed young woman decided to turn the superstitions and prejudices of the world around her to her own advantage. Her prospective clients were willing to pay good money for an ignorant swamp witch, so that's what she'd give them. Over time Jilo became trapped in the persona she created.
Even though, the Witching Savannah series is Mercy's story, The Source is Jilo's book. I hope you enjoy, and remember, when Jilo knocks, you damn well better answer.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Thanks to everyone who has asked about the availability of SHIVAREE (A NOVELLA). As the characters continue to deepen and gain their own voices, the story itself is taking on more depth and texture. Yes, that is my way of confessing that I am still working to complete the first draft.
SHIVAREE (A NOVELLA) is set in fictional Conroy, Georgia--situated near the edges of the Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama borders--in the early fifties, some months after the end of the Korean War. Conroy is a a moral cesspool, a corrupt little fiefdom run by Judge Ovid Lowell. Ovid, or "The Judge" as everyone in town knows him, should be the guardian of justice in the community, but it's Ovid's manner to corrupt those things he should protect.
In an attempt to escape both her father and Conroy, Ovid's daughter, Ruby, falls into the hands of a conman who promises a new life in golden California, but ends up coercing her to prostitute herself to finance his own addictions. Ruby finds herself sold to a group of jaded degenerates who take their pleasure from drugs, sadism and experimenting with black magic. By the time Ovid's detectives manage to track Ruby down and return her to Conroy, she has been changed in ways her father never could have imagined.
And this, folks, is just the back story.
Above is my mind's image of the Lowell's house.